And the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department?

Westchester Case

Over many months, ADC has pointed out to the Civil Rights Division the obvious national implications of Westchester’s brazen defiance of federal authority.

The County Executive may not literally be blocking the school house door a la “states rights advocates of the past, but he is just as surely acting to prevent a desegregation remedy from being enforced.

As ADC wrote in a Westchester Journal News op-ed piece this summer:

If the principles of federal supremacy and obedience to federal court orders were forfeited, the glue that holds our country together would come undone. Were that to happen, Westchester residents would find that some of the federal protections being chucked overboard by others might well be protections they themselves hold dear. The urge to ignore the law when it is convenient to do so rises powerfully from many quarters, and it cannot be countenanced anywhere at any time.

More than a thousand jurisdictions from across the country that receive federal housing money and that have “affirmatively furthering fair housing obligation”  are looking to see how the Westchester case plays out. 

They know that Westchester is the circumstance where a binding, remedial federal court order gives the federal government maximum authority and maximum leverage to pursue real change and real enforcement.  

The Civil Rights Division’s lack of action is delivering a powerful message that these jurisdictions need not change their ways.